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A good time to take a look in the window

At the beginning of a new year many decide to take a good look in the mirror to consider improvements they want to make. That’s how people often come up with new year resolutions. 

This year, I’m suggesting you take a look in the window instead.

I’ve blogged in the past about The Johari Window and it seems appropriate to surface the topic again as we begin a new year. Paticularly as we consider the customer relationships that we manage and cultivate.

The Johari Window is a simple and elegant framework. It contends there are things that you know about yourself and things you don’t. As well, there are things others know about you and things they don’t know about you. When you combine these into a simple matrix, there are some practical observations.

The Johari Window
It is clear from this that a look in the mirror only considers your viewpoint while the window provides four distinct perspectives.

  • Things about you that everybody knows – your hair color, your eyes, your height, weight, etc. (arena)

  • Things that others know about you, but you do not see – annoying habits or shortcomings (blind spot).

  • Things you know that others don’t – your habits, your secrets (facade).

  • Things you don’t know about yourself and others don’t know – subconscious things that make you do the things you do (unknown).

While this can be helpful for your own self-improvement, it also makes a lot of sense when you consider your customer relationships. Unfortunately we can all start to believe that we instinctively understand our customers. And yet, no matter how hard we try, we will never completely understand their perspective. 

That’s why we gather insights from our customers. That’s why we develop customer listening strategies. That’s why we do all we can to understand the perspective of our customers to build better relationships. And when we do it well and take action on what customers say, our business benefits.

Start the year right. Take a look in the window!

Patrick Gibbons
Principal, SVP

About the Author

Patrick Gibbons

Patrick Gibbons

As Principal and Senior Vice President of Marketing for Walker, Gibbons has global responsibility for definition, branding, and promotion of the company and its solutions. Gibbons has published and/or contributed to a number of articles, papers, and blogs on customer intelligence topics and has a regular column in CRM Magazine. He has been a featured speaker at a wide range of conferences, and has produced a series of educational events for customer experience leaders.

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